In the most controversial episode of South Park, involving Muhammad, did the producers Trey Parker and Matt Stone intend to show the face of Muhammad, or did they cave into network pressures demanded by Comedy Central?
The short answer is no. Below is the long answer. It is also no.
In the South Park episode 200 Tom Cruise and other celebrities ridiculed by the show over the years threaten to file a class action lawsuit against the town unless the town brings them the Prophet Muhammad. The celebrities want to obtain Muhammad's ability to not be ridiculed. Muhammad appears in the episode disguised in a bear suit.
Part of the reason this episode was done is that in 2009 a Danish cartoonist depicted Muhammad in a series of cartoons. Some Muslims find the depiction of Muhammad and the human form idolatry although this was not always the case.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone tried to put an image of Muhammad into the show during the initial uproar but Comedy Central prevented it from happening.
In an interview with Parker and Stone they stated:
"I think Comedy Central totally fucking pussed out. Now, they weren't any different than anyone else, so it's not like you can single them out. But I think it would've been an important statement for one media outlet in America to stand up. That was one of my most disappointing moments as an American--the American press's reaction to the Muhammad cartoons. It was completely wimpy," Matt Stone said. "Cartoonists, people who do satire--we're not in the army, we're never going to be fucking drafted and this is our time to stand up and do the right thing. And to watch the New York Times, Comedy Central, everybody just go 'No, we're not going to do it because basically we're afraid of getting bombed' sucked. I was so disappointed"
The storyline from episode 200 continued into the following episode 201.
The storyline was supposed to have gingers (redheads) and the celebrities fighting over possession of Muhammad who is rescued by the Super Best Friends.
After a warning was issued to Parker and Stone on Revolution Muslim website Comedy Central decided to censor the episode by bleeping all mention of Muhammad. The character was also covered with a large black bar that said "CENSORED."
Trey Parker and Matt Stone then issued the following statement:
"In the 14 years we've been doing South Park we have never done a show that we couldn't stand behind. We delivered our version of the show to Comedy Central and they made a determination to alter the episode. It wasn't some meta-joke on our part. Comedy Central added the bleeps. In fact, Kyle's customary final speech was about intimidation and fear. It didn't mention Muhammad at all but it got bleeped too. We'll be back next week with a whole new show about something completely different and we'll see what happens to it."
According to Parker and Stone they did not cave to pressure, but the network did.
Extending Legion600's great answer
The real interesting fact is that in 2001, before the danish incident, south park aired its first episode featuring Super Best Friends. Muhammad character was shown all episode long
They make a reference to this in the episode with "Censored" , the main characters say Muhammad was there and it was OK.
Even more interesting, you cannot watch Super Best Friends episode in their website southparkstudios.com .. ;) today, but you could before this polemic 200 episode aired.